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Industry hails ‘forward-looking’ budget

Captains of industry have welcomed the Union Budget 2020-21 as forward-looking and one aimed at the youth.

Chairman of Eastern Group of companies Navas Meeran, speaking at a session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Kerala chapter, here on Saturday said the budget addressed an aspirational India, wanting to build the quality of life in the country. “There are many positive takeaways,” he said.

Sterling Group chairman Shivadas B. Menon said the budget had laid the path for increasing farmer income as well as in building infrastructure to boost income from agriculture. In the food processing industry, the budget had focussed on properly utilising a massive quantity that was now wasted due to lack of processing and storage facilities, he said.

The budget had given due place to small and micro industrial units, said Laghu Udyog Bharati general secretary S. Venkiteswaran in a statement. Implementing invoice financing would help micro and small units, he said, while praising the proposal to exempt units with a turnover of up to Rs. 5 crore from auditing.

Tourism policy

Jose Dominic, co-founder of CGH Earth Group of hospitality industry units, said the government had realised the importance of building museums and making heritage an instrument for developing the tourism industry.

Azad Moopen, chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said the budget had managed to create growth opportunities. The proposals for viability gap funding for hospitals in tier 2 and 3 cities for meeting the requirement for Ayushman Bharat and PPP model hospitals in districts would increase accessibility of people in smaller places to health care.

But the allocation for the sector was just 1% of the GDP, which was grossly inadequate.

Vivek Krishna Govind, tax practitioner, said there were many tax breaks in the budget that augured well for the future.

Debate on the tax cuts would continue. However, abolition of double taxation in dividend distribution was a positive step. There was also a tax break for cooperatives on a par with the corporates, he said.

V.P. Nandakumar, MD of Manappuram Finance, said the decision to remove dividend distribution tax was much needed. The practice had resulted in “triple taxation of corporate earnings,” he said. The shift to a simplified scheme of personal income tax was a welcome move as it removed distortionary influences in the individual’s savings choices, he added.

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